The influence of skin colour on the experience of ownership in the rubber hand illusion

Marilia Lira, Julia H. Egito, Patricia A. Dall'Agnol, David M. Amodio, Óscar F. Gonçalves, Paulo S. Boggio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Racial prejudice is associated with a fundamental distinction between "us" and "them" - a distinction linked to the perceived overlap between representations of the self and others. Implicit prejudice has been shown to reduce the intensity of White individuals' hand ownership sensation as induced by the Rubber Hand Illusion (RHI) with dark rubber hands. However, evidence for this link to implicit prejudice comes from self-report questionnaire data regarding the RHI. As an alternative, we assessed the onset time of the RHI. We hypothesized that onset time of the RHI would be higher for the black compared to the white RH, acting as the mediator between implicit prejudice and magnitude of the RH illusion and proprioceptive drift. As expected, participants took longer to incorporate the black RH and presented lower RH illusion magnitude and a smaller proprioceptive drift for the black RH. Mediation analysis revealed a significant indirect effect of implicit racial bias on proprioceptive drift and magnitude of illusion through onset time to illusion only for the black RH. These findings further illuminate the connection between implicit prejudice and embodied perception, suggesting new perspectives on how implicit biases operate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number15745
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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